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Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Website helps public find people wanted by law enforcement

Tip leads to local man's arrest

By Margie Wuebker
A new enhancement to the Mercer County Sheriff's website allows the public to see a list of 549 people for whom warrants have been issued.
The site, located at warrants.mercercountysheriff.org, received nearly 200 hits and three tips in the two days following its activation last week. One of those tips led to the arrest of Cody Bevington of Rockford, who was wanted on a warrant out of Celina Municipal Court for operating a vehicle under the influence.
All warrants and indictments that are not secret are visible by clicking on the "active warrant search" tab on the website. There is also an anonymous tip form allowing citizens to notify the sheriff's office about the whereabouts of a suspect.
Information from an informant revealed one suspect with an active warrant died several years ago in Georgia. Deputies confirmed the information and notified the proper court.
"We hope this tool will help us clear up a backlog of outstanding warrants," Sheriff Jeff Grey said.
Other features on the website include an inmate search, which allows the public to see photos and view information regarding current inmates at the Mercer County Adult Detention Center. The search function also includes past inmates.
Another aspect of the website allows family members of inmates to deposit money via credit card to cover an inmate's purchase of commissary items or phone cards.
There is also a notification link allowing victims to sign up for an e-mail alert, phone call or a text message when an inmate is released. This service is provided without charge to anyone signing up for notification.
The sheriff's office also reminds residents that sex offender information and notification is available through the website, as well as "Nixle" alerts that provide notification of weather alerts, snow emergency levels and amber alerts.
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